Albuquerque’s Gateway Center expands capacity due to cold weather
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Starting today, Albuquerque residents facing homelessness have a new way to get a hot meal and a warm bed for the night. It’s coming at just the right time as temperatures get colder.
The Gateway Center on Gibson is expanding. 35 brand new beds are now available for men, in addition to the 50 beds already available for women.
“We want to make sure that we have some extra spaces for people to get inside this winter. So we have are making 35 new beds available over at Gateway for adult men to be able to get out of the cold overnight,” said Katie Simon, public affairs specialist for the city’s Department of Health, Housing and Homelessness.
Simon says the new service is available from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m.
“Every day from now till March – providing them dinner, personal storage, showers, bathrooms, and we [are] welcoming pets. And then in the morning, we’re providing transportation to and from Gateway,” said Simon. “So, in the morning, we’ll be dropping folks off at or near breakfast meal sites, they can get a hot breakfast meal as well.”
Simon explained why the new service is just for men.
“So, we already have our program for women that’s been operating now for a couple of months. We are working with 50 women at a time to really get them on that path to housing, with a really built out 90-day program with wraparound services to really help these women,” said Simon.
To go to the facility, you need to have a referral.
“It’s not too hard to do you just gotta connect with any existing service provider in our community and they’ll help facilitate that bed over at Gateway. It is not a walk-up facility,” said Simon. The service providers include Albuquerque Police, Albuquerque Community Safety or any other city agency.
With the added beds available, it puts the Gateway Center closer to its 100 bed goal – something Simon says they might even exceed.
The department also has several services lined up for the future. By the end of the year, they expect to have their first responder drop-off ready. That’s where city workers can directly help people at the shelter 24-7. By next year, Gateway Center is expected to open a medical sobering and medical respite area. There, residents can get medical care that includes gaining sobriety and social support.
If you’re in need of a warm meal and don’t need a bed, you can head to the Department of Health, Housing and Homelessness’ website.